Our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and tendency to spend time in front of a computer screen, TV screen, or looking down at a smartphone or tablet PC is wreaking havoc with our spinal health. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in the UK, a million working days were lost last year alone due to back pain and/or neck pain and this sets to get even worse unless we sit up and pay attention. Read more
New research suggests that testing for three specific biomarkers in the blood could predict who will go on to develop severe osteoarthritis, a potential cause of neck pain. Osteoarthritis is a condition that tends to arise later in life after wear and tear on the joints but up until now there was no blood test to let patients know their possible risk of the disease, making preventative efforts hard to promote. Read more
Cervical spondylotic myelopathy accounts for the majority of cases of spinal cord dysfunction in older adults. This common cause of neck pain results from degenerative changes in the cervical spine, including age-related damage to the joints, discs, ligaments, and connective tissue in the neck, that results in spinal cord compression. The treatment for this condition will depend on the extent of the degeneration and symptoms but typically involves laminectomy and spinal fusion. Read more
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the cervical spine can be a cause of spinal cord compression and neck pain but these serious underlying causes may be overlooked, especially in the elderly where weakness and falls are attributed to other conditions. Read more
If you’re involved in a car crash and are overweight or obese then your risk of persistent neck pain is higher than for someone who is not overweight, according to a new study presented at the 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society (APS).
The results of this study showed that the risk of neck pain lasting at least six months after an accident almost doubles if the person is morbidly obese, so what is it that makes those who are overweight more vulnerable to chronic pain? Read more
Neck pain upon opening the mouth can be a sign of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or, in layman’s terms, a dysfunction of the jawbone and surrounding structures. TMD describes a group of disorders, some of which are pretty common, affecting some 6-12% of adults. Women, and younger adults are more likely to experience TMDs but they can affect anyone throughout life. Read more
When headaches and neck pain occur together there can be a variety of explanations ranging from concussion after a serious fall, head and neck tumours causing obstructed circulation or nerve activity, stress and muscle tension and even, it seems, overuse of NSAIDs for neck pain leading to medication-related headaches.
Around 1% of the US population is thought to experience medication overuse headaches and while these are more common in those with primary headaches it may be that neck pain is also a trigger. Read more
There are numerous causes of neck pain but many people don’t realise that withdrawal from medications can be one such trigger. This is particularly true of medications taken to help with anxiety and depression, which can also have the effect of relaxing muscles and desensitising users to pain. Neck pain during Xanax withdrawal is, therefore, a common concern that may be easily overlooked considering the other issues faced by those quitting benzodiazepines. Read more
Parsonage-Turner Syndrome may sound a little like a band from the 1970s but, in fact, this medical condition could be the cause of your ongoing neck and shoulder pain. Also known as brachial neuritis, this syndrome involves inflammation of the brachial plexus that results in acute pain in the shoulder and arm, sometime radiating into the neck and leading to weakness and/or numbness. Read more